Håvard Lund is a Norwegian composer and clarinet player. He is coming to Bodø with the Sad Truth project.
Håvard grew up in a little village just north of the arctic circle in the north of Norway. He attended the school band as a clarinetist, and he has stayed with that instrument ever since, from age 9, the last years mostly focusing on his bass clarinet.
Moving from classical music into improvised music, age 18 and then forth and back for 30 years, you could now say that Håvard, age 49 is one of the most experienced multi-genre musicians in Norway.
As a parallel to his playing, it has also been of great importance to compose music. The combination between his high level of performance and composing, makes him very personal and with an easy-to-spot- identity. It appears that his written structures come from an intuitive, improvised musical origin- more than an intellectual. Håvard says he tries to compose so the compositions sounds improvised, and improvise so his music sounds like composed.
His professional carrier since finishing the jazz dep. at the conservatory in Trondheim, Norway, in 1993, has contented music for a number of theater projects for the largest scenes in Norway, in combination with own concert productions and music for other musicians.
Since 2002 he has only done concerts, and he says that its now fun to bring theater into music, both through dramaturgical lines, but also with actors reading and playing as a part of the score.
photos: Martin Losvik
The festival theme is «truth?». Can music be true? Is this something you are struggling with in your compositions?
I struggle with the balance between on and off, between action and pauses, between consonance and dissonance. If I manage all this, then I know that my music could constitute transformable experiences. What’s true is that music could act this strong. The process, that music could touch a deeper level is the truth, not the result. Because what’s shit and provocating to your sister might be the opposite for you.
What thoughts do you have about the composer’s role in the further development of the music and art field?
I make music for listeners and I want to become better acquainted with the mechanisms within the body of the listener. I know little about neurology and how I can stimulate different hormones. But I see I already am playing with it. I want to grow the knowledge of sound placed in this system called music, research whats the effect on a different level than the emotional. At what I actually believe is an earlier level, the level that triggers emotions. But if or how my music will change I don’t know. This field of consciousness I am now entering seems very exciting.
Tell me about your experience of the Sad Truth project at Fleinvær!
It must have been a very intense week and you worked both with your own ideas and projects, helping on other projects and some collective things. How do you like this form of togetherness?
As the founder of The Arctic Hideaway, I must tell that the place is made for these kinds of gatherings. My words given to the architects was about creating a meeting place for creative heads and hearts. Stimulating speed by pushing people out in nature to clean the senses, so to speak. Good things happen when there’s no audio disturbances or visual disturbances other than what nature creates. Let me share one main sentence I have borrowed from American business theory: “get the right people on the bus and then decide where to drive”. This week was one of the bus rides with the right people on board. And we still don’t know where the journey will end….!
You are both a performer and a composer. How do you use your musicianship in your compositions?
I usually say that I want my composed music to sound improvised and that my improvised music sounds like it’s composed. It all comes from one body, mine, whether the music is intuitively created and processed by my inner engineer, or vice versa. Fortunately, my inner engineer knows how he should work with my inner artist, and luckily also the opposite. Actually, very unlike everyday life in Norway, sorry to say
Is music, often wordless, freer than other art forms? Any thoughts on this?
Back to neurology and the hierarchy of senses: all people who use music should close their eyes more often as we listen. The language has changed and we are now talking about watching a concert instead of listening to a concert. Other art could have the eyes as instruments. The power of the music is that it is primarily made for the ears. Will this power be even stronger without words? It’s quite rare to hear words in music that’s not interpreted or woven into an everyday-life. I have to research this, wether words in music stimulate the engineer or the artist within me. Or actually the whole man?
This spring, we sent 6 artists to the small island of Fleinvær. There they collected sounds, pictures, films, impressions and togetherness, under the heading “Sad Truth”. Human beings are intellectually equipped to choose whether to live in equilibrium with nature as a whole, or take care of its diversity. Why then do we choose not to do that which is obviously important and right? We are the first generation to have both the knowledge and tools to take action – if we only had the will. So, when the words that form the social debate are drained of their power, perhaps a space opens up for art and music to meaningfully contribute.